oneworld airlines adopt alliance approach to new generation boarding cards and other industry simplification initiatives

30 March 2005

oneworldTM  is turning its focus to the next generation of airport boarding cards, after becoming the first global airline alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its route network using electronic tickets only, with the completion of interline e-ticketing (IET) links between all its partners.

The grouping is adopting the same process as it used on its successful IET programme to develop an alliance approach to the new bar-code technology that industry association IATA is encouraging all airlines and airports worldwide to implement for boarding cards and other passenger documents, in the place of the existing magnetic stripe systems, which rely on traditional paper tickets.

oneworld comprises some of the biggest and best names in the airline industry - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus and their 17 affiliates. Together, they fly to 603 destinations in 136 countries worldwide, carrying 225 million passengers last year on more than 7 500 daily departures. It is the only airline alliance whose members collectively achieved a profit last year.

The two-dimensional bar-coded boarding pass project is one of IATA's current four key initiatives to simplify the industry's processes, to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The other three are:

  • e-ticketing, which aims to eliminate paper tickets by the end of 2007.
  • Common-use self-service check-in kiosks, to promote their use and share the cost.
  • Radio frequency technology for baggage sorting and handling, with the aim of reducing mis-shipped luggage.

The Chief Information Officers from oneworld's member airlines have commissioned a core team drawn from the alliance's partners, headed by oneworld Vice-President IT Bob McNair, to work on their behalf with IATA on these core initiatives.


Bob McNair said: "oneworld was created to make travel to more places more easy for more people - and that is a theme reflected in all four of these IATA initiatives. oneworld is committed to offering our alliance customer service better than the competition and to reap the benefits that technology provides for both our customers and shareholders.

"By drawing from our experiences as the industry IET leader and adopting an alliance approach to these IATA initiatives, we can help the air transport industry overall develop approaches to benefit passengers the world over."

The oneworld core team will build on co-ordination work long underway throughout the alliance in all four "simplification areas".

While oneworld completes its own IET programme when links are completed between the final three pairings of its partners in April, it and its member airlines will continue to develop IET links with the other global alliances and unaligned carriers.

As the first alliance with full IET between its members, oneworld's customers can travel with the convenience of just one electronic ticket throughout the unrivalled combined network served by the alliance's eight member airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus - and their 17 affiliates. Together, they fly to 603 destinations in 136 countries worldwide.


Besides the many benefits this delivers to customers, it also enables the airlines to make considerable efficiencies. With IATA, the world airline association, estimating that electronic tickets cut costs by around US$8 for each paper ticket eliminated, on that basis, with more than seven million passengers a year transferring between oneworld partners, the alliance's IET programme stands to save the eight member airlines around US$60 million a year.

Note: Electronic tickets cannot yet be used at a small number of airports where the appropriate technology has yet to be installed. oneworld carriers will extend the use of e-tickets to them as soon as these airports are equipped.

About oneworld: oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus - enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. Together, its members serve 603 destinations in 136 countries. oneworld was voted the world's best airline alliance by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2004 poll and named the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the second year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by travel professionals from 80 000 agencies in more than 200 countries. Note: LAN affiliate LAN ECUADOR is not a member of oneworld.